|Occurred : 11/23/2002 17:15 (Entered as : 11/23/02 17:15)
Reported: 11/24/2002 4:47:54 PM 16:47
Location: Keystone (US 30 @), IA
|Shimmering bright white light 3X size of Venus. Dripping, a tail, and variable at times.
I was driving East on US 30 as dark fell. US 30 runs directly east & west for 40 miles between Tama and Cedar Rapids, Iowa at this location. I saw a brighter than usual light in the distance a few degrees south of due east through my windshield as I was eastbound.
The light grew brighter until it appeared like a brilliant Venus would in the morning sky. It even had a liquid appearance at times just like Venus at its most intense. After about 5 minutes I noticed that it had not moved relative to the horizon. This eliminated a plane coming in from a great distance to the Cedar Rapids airport which was almost directly to my S.E. from my positon. Suddenly the light doubled in intensity and appeared for a time to have a forked tail pointing downward and it seemed to throw off a particle or two. At one point I thought I saw a faint line coming down from it. It stayed in the same place for over ten minutes. It briefly faded down to a bright ball of light but then flared again to a brilliant white shimmering light more than three times the size of Venus. About twenty miles away the red blinking lights of 1000 foot towers around Cedar Rapids, Iowa were now visible. This object was twice as high up as their tops. I estimate that it was 15 miles Southeast of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Highway 30 turns SE as it approaches the outskirts of Cedar Rapids and at this point the light disappeared or went out. It reminded me somewhat of the Rendlesham, England sightings as it appeared to be fluid in its shimmering. It was above the point in the atmosphere at which rising stars shimmer and are magnified by passing through the atmosphere. As I drove straight east for over twenty minutes this light did not change its location at all. A moving plane on a flight path would have shown some change relative to my own movement. The variation in intensitiy of the light also argues against a hovering helicopter. It may have been farther away also and much higher up but it had to be at least 2000 feet up compared to the 1000 foot plus communication towers in the distance. It had an appearance similar to the "Star of Bethlehem" pictures we have seen at some point in our lives. I have just checked star charts and verified that Venus is now a morning star. I am a long time amateur as! tronomer and can verify that this was not Jupiter or any star.